06.29.15

IN CALL TO DOD BRASS, SCHUMER URGES FEDS TO LET SMALL BUSINESSES, LIKE BINGHAMTON’S VMR, COMPETE FOR MAJOR DEFENSE CONTRACT; $35 MILLION DOD CONTRACT COULD JUMP START LOCAL MANUFACTURING & PAVE WAY FOR INCREASING PRODUCTION, CREATING & SUPPORTING HUNDREDS OF NEW JOBS AT VMR IN BINGHAMTON

Federal Approval Needed to Allow Small Businesses, Including NY-Based VMR Electronics Corp. in Binghamton, to Compete for Major Defense Contract; Defense Officials Are Currently Reviewing Contract to Decide Eligibility of Small Businesses to Compete

 Schumer Says Small, Local Companies Like VMR Are Often Squeezed Out of Bidding Process Because of Size, But Can Compete in The Big Leagues If Afforded The Opportunity – Schumer Makes Personal Call to DISA Director & Urges DOD to Give Small Businesses a Chance to Compete

Schumer: Contract Could Bring High-Tech, Good-Paying Jobs to Binghamton If Companies Like VMR Are Given Avenue to Compete For Contract

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the Defense Information Services Agency (DISA) within the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to approve a request that would allow small businesses, including a Binghamton-based company, VMR Electronics Corp., to compete for a major defense contract that could pave the way for increased production and jobs in the Southern Tier. In a personal call to DISA Director Lt. General Ronnie Hawkins, Schumer urged the agency to approve the process that would allow small businesses to compete for a contract to manufacture installation kits for Joint Battle Command Platforms that are used overseas by American troops. Schumer explained that, right now, the Defense Department is evaluating if small businesses are capable of completing the work needed for this contract, and Schumer said companies just like VMR in the Southern Tier could be more than able if given the chance to compete fairly.

Schumer said the installation kits would be utilized by the Army to install Joint Battle Command Platforms in military vehicles, typically Humvees, and provide the hard-wiring needed – including cables and brackets – to connect electronic devices that set up these vehicles as Mission Command center. Schumer said given the regulations that requires a certain percentage of federal contracting dollars to go to small businesses, this is an ideal opportunity to allow qualified companies, like NY-based VMR Electronics Corp., to compete for a large contract that could mean adding hundreds jobs and greatly increasing production for a local manufacturer.

“Giving small businesses the chance to bid for this contract would be a major step forward in making sure small, local, and more-than-capable companies, like VMR in Binghamton, are afforded the opportunity to compete in the big leagues. This multi-million dollar defense contract has the potential to pave the way for bringing good-paying, high-tech jobs to local manufacturers if small businesses are allowed to compete – but the first step is ensuring DISA makes that possible,” said Schumer. “This could mean increased employment and production for companies like VMR, which have both the ability to complete and the skill to ensure the brave men and women serving our country have the top-notch technology needed to protect our country.”

Schumer said that DISA is currently reviewing whether a small business can be utilized as the contracting vehicle for the Project Manage Mission Command Installation Kits. Schumer said the DISA is in the process of completing a comprehensive market analysis to determine whether eligible small businesses have the resources necessary to complete the contract, given the extensive technological requirements needed for the kits. Schumer said it is important that businesses of all sizes be allowed to do business with the federal government, particularly small, local businesses like VMR Electronics Corp. in New York. Current regulations on federal contracting jobs dictate that 23% of all federal prime contract dollars be awarded to small businesses. When determining whether to give the contract to a small business, the appropriate federal agency must determine whether the company has the resources and capacity to undertake the project.

DISA issued a Request For Information (RFI), received responses from small firms, which are now in the process of being reviewed by DISA officials as they decide whether small companies like VMR can successfully complete the contract with their resources. As a result, Schumer is urging DISA to make the necessary approvals that would allow small businesses to compete for this contract. Schumer said that, if afforded the opportunity, small businesses like VMR are more than capable of competing and completing this kind of production work. Currently, many military vehicles require advanced wiring to connect computers, laptops, and other electronic equipment to the vehicle. The sophisticated nature of the wiring network requires the contracted company to have an advanced knowledge of the necessary setup and the proper personnel resources to ensure the kits can be produced across a wide variety of military vehicles.

If the RFI determines sufficient market share and capability from Small Businesses, then DISA will issue a Request for Proposal allowing small businesses to submit bids for the Project Manage Mission Command Installation Kit. Which has the potential to be a huge boost a region’s local economy and could bring in good-paying jobs. VMR, for example, estimates that winning the contract would enable them to support their current 100 employees workforce while adding up to another 100 jobs.

VMR is a defense manufacturer specializing in application engineering and assembly manufacturing for the aerospace and military industries. VMR has been recognized on several occasions for their outstanding work, most notably the IED Jammer and Abrams Tank.

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